Friday, October 19, 2007

i-TFTD #66: Snippets on Performance Problem Analysis

i-TFTD #66: Snippets on Performance Problem Analysis

A couple of interesting snippets.

What Kind of Problem Are You Dealing With?

Zingerman's Training encourages leaders facing challenges to consider what kind of problem they are actually facing. Here's their checklist of questions to begin identifying:

1. Is there already a system in place for performing the task? If not, you have a systems problem. Training won't help until there's a system in place.

2. Is there a system in place that employees know how to use but don't follow? If so, you have a management problem. Leaders need to ensure that existing systems are being used.

3. Is there a system, but employees don't really know what it is or how to use it? If so, you have a training problem.

Many times, training problems are often confused with systems problems, and managers try to replace the "flawed" system. This quick checklist may be a handy way to respond to challenges.

Performance Consulting - why people don't do what you want them to

They don't know how - training problem
They know how but don't - performance problem

Performance Problems include:
-there is no reward for doing the behavior or the system is rewarding some other behavior
-there are disincentives for doing the behavior (using a system that makes what they are doing difficult and annoying, lack of organizational support (resources, lack of clarity of priorities and importance, unclear roles and responsibilites, lousy processes) etc.

-they don't want to or are not interested in doing the behavior.

Such an analysis could also be applied on ourselves when we find we do not feel charged up to do something though we desire the result.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

i-TFTD #65

i-TFTD #65

#65-1. A quote I heard some time ago - "Never love your job, because it can never love you back." Your work, however, is another matter. Try not to get the two confused. Your job can end, but your work - in all likelihood - will not. The passion you have, the relationships you've made, the skills you've acquired - the things that make work fun - will go with you, not stay at the desk that used to be "yours".

-Jim Wesnor

#65-2. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
-Neale Donald Walsch

#65-3. Silently hear everyone.
Accept what is good.
Reject and forget what is not.
This is intelligent living.
-Swami Chinmayananda

The first one can also be interpreted in the context of a role change within the same "job". The second reminds us to frequently venture out beyond the familiar and comfortable zone of control -- difficult but essential for growth. The last is superb, there is a similar saying in Marathi that can be paraphrased as, "Listen to the world, then do what your heart says." It can be applied not only to advice but also to other negativities and fluff. Accepting feedback (always a tough thing) would be easier if we remembered this.

Monday, October 15, 2007

i-TFTD #64: The importance of being important

i-TFTD #64: The importance of being important

The importance of being important

The following is something to make us stop and think. Take this quiz:

Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
Name the last five winners of the Miss World contest.
Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
Name the last decade's worth of World Cup winners.

How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier? The lesson? The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

This is one of my favourite i-TFTDs. What I like about many such thought-provoking snippets is that they trigger different responses from different people.

For instance, one reaction after reading the above is to say, "Yeah, I now see that there are so-called ordinary people in my daily life that make a big difference to me. I should remember to appreciate this fact and the people themselves."

Conversely you could also look at it as a reminder that you are a VIP in some people's lives -- at home, at work and to others about whom you care. Maybe I will be more careful in how I behave and what I convey when I realize this.

Monday, October 8, 2007

i-TFTD #63: Gestalt Prayer and Beyond

i-TFTD #63: Gestalt Prayer and Beyond

Gestalt Prayer
-Fritz Perls (written in 1969 by the proponent of gestalt therapy)

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.

In the 80s and 90s, the above little snippet was fashionable to forward and practice. I always felt uncomfortable, not with the individualism but with the finality of tone in it, the "unconnectedness". My own thing was to understand other people, celebrate the differences and the similarities but I was unable to put it in words even within my own mind. My struggle found resolution, I found the ++ ("plus-plus") answer to the I, Me, Myself philosophy in a write-up from another psychologist. It is a repartee to the above, but it is more than that. It enlarges the above, simplistic vision to the real world of teams, relationships and connectedness in life. Here is that write-up:

Beyond Perls
-Tubbs W. (written in 1972 in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology)

If I just do my thing and you do yours,
We stand in danger of losing each other
And ourselves

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations;
But I am in this world to confirm you
As a unique human being,
And to be confirmed by you.

We are fully ourselves only in relation to each other;
The 'I' detached from a 'Thou' disintegrates.

I do not find you by chance; I find you by an active life
Of reaching out.

Rather than letting things passively happen to me,
I can act intentionally to make them happen.

I must begin with myself, true;

But I must not end with myself;

The truth begins with two.